Long Weekend Lemon and Olive Oil Cake Strikes Again

lemon and olive oil cake || cityhippyfarmgirllemon and olive oil cake recipe || cityhippyfarmgirl

Long weekends,

call for longer sleeps,

longer conversations,

longer socks,

long sips of hot chai

and lemon cake.

Lemon and Olive Oil Cake

From here on in, all long weekends held in June will be marked by the baking of lemon cakes. (Best eaten in colourful socks, sipping chai and surrounded by excitable conversation.)

Recipe here.

simple lemon and olive oil cake || cityhippyfarmgirl


little soft sweet white peaks of cloud

lemon meringue

lemon meringue

My grandmother once told me she used to make a sponge cake each year for her own birthday cake when her kids were young. That’s what they all loved to eat, so that’s what she would make, she said over a pot of tea one day. Kind and generous yes, and certainly in keeping with a birthday spirit. But… my 83 year old grandmother doesn’t like sponge cake. She never has.

It was probably never going to be a problem that I would have. Committed to my kids taste buds, of course. I frequently catered to their often under ripe taste buds. But committed enough to make them (me) a sponge cake? Oh hell no, (I don’t like them either.)

Several people offered to make me a birthday cake this year. I said that was so very kind, and then politely declined though. You see, I love making my own cake (or tart as the case may be.) It’s the one time of the year, I can make something exactly to my own taste buds. No chocolate, no lollies, no cream… no sponge cake.

For this years birthday I had lemon meringue pie on my mind, and I’d been planning it ever since the last time I had made it, (with added blueberries for good measure.)

“…but it’s not a proper birthday if there isn’t cake,” declared an unsure little voice.

 “Piffle,” I said confidently, “How exciting will the little soft sweet white peaks of cloud like meringue look in amongst a few candles.” Birthday’s can be anything you want it to be, that’s the wonderful thing about birthdays.” 

I kept that close in mind when I decided I would like wholemeal spelt pancakes, blueberries, mangoes, crackers and cheese for dinner as well…anything I want it to be, right?

lemon meringue


And as my still fairly recent tradition of making something meringue-y for my birthday continues, so does my recipe list.

Lemon Meringue Pie 2013

Blue Cherry Meringue Tart 2012

Berry Meringue Tart 2011

A Rather Tall Birthday Cake 2010

lemon and olive oil cake

lemon and olive oil cake


lemon and olive oil cake

I had a whole fruit bowl full of some back yard lemons. Now what to do with all that yellowy goodness?

I thought of lemon meringue pie….

I thought of lemon cordial

I thought of limoncello….

I thought of lemon and rhubarb pie

I thought of lemon meringue icecream...

I did a lot of thinking about those lemons. But none of them was quite right. What to do with you my bowl of tarty yellow fruit?

Gourmet Traveller stepped in. Another winning recipe that really is very easy. The hardest part was squeezing the lemons, which was in no way tricky at all. Love a recipe that is just tasty and simple…and lemony of course.

Lemon and Olive Oil Cake

lemon and olive oil cake

seasonal cooking for June

The seasons have changed and along with it so has what comes out of the kitchen.

I like that. Seasonal menus and changing what goes on our plate according to availability and the weather outside.

Orange and Coconut Cake, an easy one to make up a head of time. Keeps well, using some of the delicious new season oranges about. Try to find some organic oranges, as they shouldn’t be waxed. You don’t particularly want zest of wax in your cake do you?

I was lucky enough to get a lovely load of my dad’s backyard citrus.

Ribollita adapted from this Jamie Oliver recipe. A really easy meal based on vegetables on hand and using up stale bread. Frugal, seasonal, healthy, local produce and tasty. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Will the kids eat it? If you have miracle children they might, mine wouldn’t touch it.

So what else is looking tasty round these parts in June?

mandarins…. eaten by the bucket load at the moment. Easy snack.

radish… finally sliced in salads

pumpkin… thai pumpkin soup with a swirl of coconut cream.

cauliflower… I’m thinking this risotto, with extra chillies please.

kale… raw or cooked green goodness. SUPER food.

leek… base for a hearty soup or sitting in the bottom of a quiche.

mushrooms… cooked up in some olive oil with a side of polenta. Yum!


What seasonal cooking are you doing?

sunshine, lemons and a whispering curd

A rush of lemons.

Limoncello is now on the go, but it took three lots of lemons before I was happy with the quality that was to be used.

So what do I have? A whole lot of lemons. Lucky for me, I love lemons.

Limoncello, lemon cordial, and lemon curd have all been fiddled with in the kitchen this week. Limoncello will wait for another day as it’s not ready yet, but the cordial and curd? Cordial bottle nearly empty and there is now a large jar of curd whispering to me from the fridge. That’s right, she whispers. Sings to me from a closed door. Letting me know she is there and waiting.

Just a little taste as you walk on by, come on…you can do it. Leave the carrots, it’s me you really want. Where’s your teaspoon honey?…

It’s hard. It really is. Husky voiced, the lemon curd allures and entices you with her whispered sing song voice. Just a little teaspoon indeed.

It’s the Lauren Bacall of the fridge. Refined, sultry tones and probably wearing a beautifully cut Chanel type pants suit too. All that in a jar of old fashioned lemon curd…who knew?

Lemon Curd

1 cup of lemon juice

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 beaten eggs

1 tbls cornflour

In a pot add the juice and sugar. Bring to the boil, turn down a little and simmer for about 5 minutes. All sugar should be dissolved. In a bowl whisk your eggs and cornflour together. Slowly drizzle this mixture into the juice and sugar mixture, whisking quickly as you do. Keep at a simmer until the curd thickens.

Lemon Cordial

1 cup lemon juice

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

Equal parts strained lemon juice, sugar and water. Juice the lemons, strain the juice. In a pot add the sugar and water and bring to a rapid boil. Boil until it thickens slightly. (For me this took six minutes, depends on the amount you are using and also the pot though. Then add your lemon juice.

Store in a bottle and leave in the fridge. Serve with mineral water, ice and a couple of sprigs of mint, or perhaps a little vodka… or just good old tap water.